Gunzenhausen/Germany – 09 March 2022
In the evening of 7 March 2022, we learned via Twitter that we are being held responsible for the shutdown of the war.ukraine.ua website. We tried to get more information about it immediately after the news broke. Because the website is connected through nameservers owned by Cloudflare, we were unfortunately unable to determine which destination IP the domain is pointing to. We contacted Cloudflare, and they told us that the domain war.ukraine.ua did not point to any IP from the Hetzner network. According to Cloudflare, Hetzner was not the hosting provider.
By chance, we found a reference to the domain develop.ukraine.ua in a tweet much later where an IP from the Hetzner network was mentioned. At this point we could verify that we were responsible for the shutdown of the website.
In the current difficult political situation, we are increasingly noticing irregularities in the registration of new customer accounts. These accounts are then often misused. In order to protect Internet users from this abuse, we have adapted our internal processes and strengthened the plausibility check. In addition to going through an automated process, these accounts are manually checked by one of our staff members. During this check, anomalies were discovered that led the employee to decide to block the server. This decision has now been classified as wrong after another review. So we reactivated the account and brought the server back online.
We would like to explicitly point out that this was an error that came about due to a not yet fully developed plausibility check in combination with unfavorable details regarding the administration of the server and human error. At no time are or were our actions politically motivated, nor were there any external influences on our actions. We at Hetzner Online condemn any form of violence and war. We strive to be a socially responsible company and participate in various humanitarian projects, such as projects to support refugees and the homeless.
We do our best to be a reliable technological service provider for our customers. It is also part of our corporate culture to carefully analyze and clarify errors directly with the parties involved and not to do so on a public stage. Yesterday, we had contact with the customer as well as a conversation with members of the Ukrainian embassy to discuss the situation and to coordinate our further course of action. We understand that this case is being followed and discussed very emotionally in the current situation. We sincerely and formally apologize for this mistake and the inconvenience we have caused with it.